Rhetorical Devices and Propaganda Techniques

repetition
the repeated use of a word, phrase, or clause more than once for emphasis

anaphora
The same word or phrase is used to begin successive clauses or sentences. Thus, the reader’s / listener’s attention is drawn directly to the message of the sentence.

parallelism
repetition of the same grammatical form to express equal, or parallel ideas. A noun is paired with a noun, a phrase with a phrase, a clause with a clause, etc.

Rhetorical Questions
questions not meant to be answered, but asked for effect. To answer other than the way in which the speaker intends, one would have to be lacking in compassion, morality, or intellect.

Loaded words
words with strong emotional overtones or connotations and designed to evoke strongly positive (or negative) reactions beyond their literal meaning

argument by analogy/comparison
draws a parallel between basically dissimilar events or situations

either/or fallacy
a claim that presents an artificial range of choices in order to force the audience to accept a conclusion by presenting only two possible options, one of which is clearly more desirable.

allusion
referring to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, or some other branch of culture

figurative language
use of imagery, metaphor, simile, symbol, personification to have a desired effect

anecdote
a very brief story, told to illustrate a point or serve as an example of something

making concessions
giving in to part of an opponent’s objections or views; admitting an opponent is half right or that he has a valid concern.

refuting counterclaims
listing an opponent’s claims and successfully proving them wrong one-by-one

bandwagon
putting forth the idea that everyone supports this person/cause, and so should you

expert testimonial
quoting an expert in a field in order to build support for a claim

plain folks testimonial
a recommendation from an ordinary person in support of a claim

celebrity testimonial
endorsement of a product or cause by a famous person

fear mongering
presenting a dreaded circumstance and following it up with the kind of behavior needed to avoid the horrible event

propaganda
Information aimed at positively or negatively influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people

name-calling
an attack on a person instead of an issue

red herring
an attempt to distract the reader with details not relevant to the argument

emotional appeal
tries to persuade the reader by using words that appeal to the reader’s emotions instead of to logic or reason

kairos
creating a sense of urgency in an audience regarding an issue

pathos
an emotional appeal

logos
an appeal to logic or reason; often takes the form of an appeal to numbers, facts, or statistics

ethos
building a sense of credibility on the part of a persuader

sweeping generalization
aka stereotyping: making an oversimplified statement about a group based on limited information

circular argument
states a conclusion as part of the proof of the argument